When We Were

Twenty Eight: I Don’t Know If She’d Say That

Placing his mug of tea down onto the counter, Lionel carefully lowered his head, yawning to himself as his forehead settled against the cool countertop. He had made sure that he had woken up early, with him being unsure of how late Luca tended to sleep in, he had opted to slide out of bed a lot earlier than usual, not wanting to run the risk of Luca wandering in and spotting him curled up with Emilia, and whilst he had a feeling that it was the right decision, it did mean that he was still half asleep. Closing his eyes for a few seconds, he let out a soft sigh before he felt something touch the top of his back, causing him to turn his head, acknowledging Emilia’s teasing smile with a sleepy one of his own.

“What are you doing out here?” Emilia asked as she leant over, pressing a kiss against the back of his head.

Lionel shrugged lazily. “I didn’t know how early Luca woke up” he mumbled “I didn’t know what you’d told him about us, so I thought I’d play it safe. I thought he’d ask too many questions if he wandered in and found us cuddling” he added, another sleepy yawn falling out of his mouth.

Emilia, who’d moved to pour herself a glass of orange juice, allowed her smile to soften a little before she stepped forwards, pressing a soft kiss against his temple. “You’re sweet” she murmured softly.

“I’m also tired” Lionel retorted, causing Emilia to smile against his head.

“You can go back to bed” she mumbled softly.

Lionel shook his head. “It’s OK” he noted.

“You sure?” Emilia prodded “I mean, Luca will be up in a bit and then I’ve got to take him to play football. You could...” Emilia’s words trailed as little footsteps filled the air, causing her to turn around, watching as Luca shuffled sleepily into the room. Quirking a small smile, she watched him sleepily rub his eyes before she nodded towards the stool next to Lionel.

“Breakfast?” she asked.

Luca, who’d shuffled into his seat, nodded. “Yes, please” he mumbled.

“Leo?” Emilia prodded.

“Please” Lionel confirmed with a nod.

“I can fix that up” Emilia noted “Luca, why don’t you take Leo through to the living room and put on your cartoons?” she asked.

Lionel opened his mouth, preparing to insist that if he didn’t want to, then Luca didn’t have to, but his protests were cut off when the little boy slipped back to his feet, tugging on the bottom of Lionel’s t-shirt. “Come on” he noted.

Lionel blinked a couple of times before he shuffled to his feet, stopping only to offer Emilia a slightly surprised look which she responded to with a little shrug and a smirk as Luca guided Lionel out of the kitchen. She knew that it was going to take time, despite Luca being a sociable little boy, he did take a little time to warm to new people, but she could tell that he liked Lionel, even if he had been a little quieter than usual. She knew her son well enough to know the little cues he gave off when he was comfortable.

Chewing on her bottom lip, Emilia poked her head around the door frame which led into Luca’s bedroom, her eyes fixed on the little boy who sat on the floor, eagerly showing off his collection of toys to Lionel who sat on his bed, grinning with enthusiasm. It hadn’t taken Luca long, after getting through one of his cartoons, he’d started to get restless, and when he’d suggested that he could Lionel his toys, the footballer hadn’t quite known how to tell him no, something which made Emilia smile a little. He wanted Luca to like him, and he was so worried that he wouldn’t that he had taken to walking on eggshells around the little boy, something Emilia found sweet, even if she was sure that there was no need for it. The idea that Lionel was so concerned with Luca’s opinion of him meant a lot to her.

“I got this one for my birthday” Luca chirped “My grandpa bought it” he added, showing off one of his action figures.

“Grandpa David?” Lionel poked.

Luca nodded his head eagerly. “You know Grandpa David?” he asked.

“I did” Lionel confirmed “When I was little. I was really good friends with your uncle Jordi” he added.

“And mama too?” Luca prodded.

Lionel’s small smile softened a little before he nodded his head. “I knew your mama too” he confirmed “I don’t know if she’d say we were friends though” he added, more talking to himself than Luca.

“She said you’re friends now” Luca noted “But I saw you kiss her last night” he added.

Lionel stilled a little, his eyes lifting towards the doorway where Emilia stood, her own eyes a little wide. “You did?” he asked.

Luca nodded his head, busy playing with his toys. “I got out of bed to say goodnight to you” he noted “And I saw mama and you kiss” he added.

Lionel felt his cheeks flush a soft shade of pink as he opened and closed his mouth a couple of times, not quite sure what to say to the little boy.

Luca glanced up from his toys, his eyes meeting Lionel’s. “Are you mama’s boyfriend?” he asked.


“He is” Emilia interrupted softly “Is that OK?” she added as she stepped a little deeper into the room.

Luca seemed to think for a moment before he nodded his head, turning his attention back towards his toys.

“You don’t mind Leo spending time with us?” Emilia prodded.

“No” Luca replied “He’s nice” he added.

Emilia grinned, nudging Lionel’s side gently as his cheeks flushed a deeper shade of pink. “You like him?” she asked.

Luca nodded.

“I’m glad you do, baby” Emilia cooed “Now, do you want to go and find your football bag? We’ve got to get going soon” she added.

“Will Leo come too?” Luca asked as he stood up.

“If you want me to” Lionel replied “I mean, if you just want it to be you and your mama, I don’t mind” he added, his words rushed and nervous.

Luca shook his head. “You can come too” he noted.

Lionel smiled, soft and slightly tentative. “I’d love to come, Luca” he confirmed.

Luca grinned at him brightly before he rushed out of the room, something which caused Lionel to let out a soft breathy laugh. Emilia, who stood a little away from him, grinned at the soft sound he made before she shook her head. “I told you that you were worrying for nothing” she quipped impishly.

Lionel rolled his eyes. “And you’re always right?” he played along.

Emilia nodded. “Always” she confirmed “You should get used to it” she added.

Lionel’s lips quirked upwards. “I think I might want to” he mused.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)